Poems, &c. written upon several occasions, and to several persons by Edmond Waller.
Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
What Fruits they have, and how Heaven smiles
Vpon those late discovered Isles.
AId me Be••ona, while the dreadful Fight
Betwixt a Nation and two Whales I write:
Seas stain'd with goar, I sing, advent'rous toyl,
And how these Monsters did disarm an Isle.
Berm•das wall'd with Rocks, who does not know,
That happy Island, where huge Lemons grow,
And Orange trees which Golden Fruit do bear,
Th'Hesperian Garden boasts of none so fair?
Where shining Pearl, Coral, and many a pound,
On the rich Shore, of Amber-greece is found:
Page 59 The lofty Cedar, which to Heaven aspires,
The Prince of Trees, is fewel for their Fires:
The smoak by which their loaded spits do turn,
For •ncense might, on Sacred Altars burn:
Their private Roofs•on od'rous Timber born,
Such as might Palaces for Kings adorn.
The sweet Palmettas a new B•cchus yield,
With Leaves as ample as the broadest shield:
Under the shadow of whose friendly Boughs
They sit carowsing, where their Liquor grows.
Figs there unplanted through the Fields do grow,
Such as fierce Cato did the Romans show,
With the rare Fruit inviting them to spoil
Carthage the Mistriss of so rich a soil.
The naked Rocks are not unfruitful there,
But at some constant seasons every year,
Their barren tops with luscious Food abound,
And with the eggs of various Fowls are crown'd:
Page 60 Tobacco is the worst of things, which they
To English Land-lords as their Tribute pay:
Such is the Mould, that the Blest Tenant feeds
On precious Fruits, and pays his Rent in Weeds:
With candid Plantines, and the jucy Pine,
On choicest Melons and sweet Grapes they dine;
And with Potatoes fat their wanton Swine.
Nature these Cates with such a lavish hand
Pours out among them, that our courser Land
Tastes of that bounty, and does Cloth return,
Which not for Warmth, but Ornament is worn:
For the kind Spring which but salutes us here,
Inhabits there, and courts them all the year:
Ripe Fruits and blossoms on the •ame Trees live;
At once they promise, what at once they give:
So sweet the Air, so moderate the Clime;
None sickly lives, or dies before his time.
Heaven sure has kept this spot of earth uncurst,
Page 61 To shew how all things were Created first.
The tardy Plants in our cold Orchards plac'd,
Reserve their Fruit for the next ages taste:
There a small grain in some few Months will be
A firm, a lofty, and a spacious Tree:
The Palma Christi, and the fair Papah,
Now but a seed (preventing Natures law)
In half the Circle of the hasty year
Project a shade, and lovely fruit do wear:
And as their Trees in our dull Region set
But faintly grow, and no perfection get;
So in this Northern Tract our hoarser Throats
Utter unripe and ill-constrained notes:
Where the supporter of the Poets style,
Phoebus, on them eternally does smile.
O how I long! my careless Limbs to lay
Under the Plantanes shade, and all the day
With am'rous Airs my fancy entertain,
Page 62 Invoke the Mus•s, and improve my vein!
No passion there in my free breast should move▪
None but the sweet and best of passions, Love:
There while I sing, if gentle Love be by
That tunes my Lute, and winds the Strings so high,
With the sweet sound of Sacharissa's name,
I'll make the listning Savages grow tame.
But while I do these pleasing dreams indite,
I am diverted from the promis'd fight.